JOHN MORRIS HAS AN AMAZING STORY.
After a devastating snowboarding accident in 2005, John went through all kinds of turmoil. He’ll be incapacitated for the rest of his life.
But that propels him into making an amazing contribution to the disabled community. He’s started a company named QuadShoX to manufacture and sell shock absorbers for normal wheelchairs.
When I met John this week, he explained the significant discomfort which arises from normal rolling around. Look at the cobblestones in this picture I took. Imagine door thresholds even just a quarter of an inch high, not to mention curbs and stairs.
Everyone of those bumps and jolts is transmitted directly to John’s spine. So he decided to fix it.
He has a straightforward invention which adds shock absorbers to a standard wheelchair. This means past limit of four hours in the chair has been expanded to being mobile all day.
As he told me, “I am choosing to build this company for one reason. I feel that as a wheelchair community we need to bring the wheelchair industry out of the Stone Age. I was confined to an attendant-propelled manual wheelchair for the first five years of my injury before switching to a powered chair. My manual wheelchair did not have any sort of a suspension system, and as a result, I felt every bump and crack in the road in my lower back and hips.
“That is how I came up with my business idea. I thought, why can’t someone make a suspension system that addresses the needs of the chair occupant so that this challenge of mobility isn’t so painful and damaging? If a dealership can’t sell a car without suspension then why are we selling a means of transportation for those that suffer from some type of paralysis? We want to be able to improve the quality of ride as well as the quality of life at a reasonable price.”
The biggest barrier in John’s way right now is funding, because he needs $96,000 to bring this to market. He’s opened a KickStarter campaign which is growing steadily – but the July 31st deadline is swiftly approaching.
This funding will be used for FDA registration, finalizing the patent, manufacture initial inventory, marketing the product through distributors, and launching this September. Aggressive goals, for sure!
Down the road, John envisions being able to give jobs to disabled employees, building a company which does great things for itself, for customers, and for the community.
If you have any empathy for people in wheelchairs, I’d recommend that you go contribute what you can afford to his campaign. I’ve done that myself.
And spread the word. We want to see this product make it to market!